Join Scott Hirsch for an in-depth discussion in this video Learning useful and custom key commands, part of Logic Pro 9 Essential Training.
If you're into working fast in Logic, key commands are the best. Like I always said, the faster you can do what you need to do, the more time you'll have to think creatively. Logic is key command heaven. Not only are there thousands of key command combos for almost every task, Logic is the only audio program I know of that lets you make up your own customizable key commands. I'm going to point out some useful ones and show you how to customize them. Before getting started, I want to point out that if you have an installation of Logic 8 on your Mac, you might see different key commands as they have changed from 8 to 9. Logic will hold on to your Logic 8 key command set until you initialize them.
Let's initialize our key commands if you want to follow along with this lesson. To do so go to Logic Pro > Preferences > Key Commands. Here we can go to the Options menu and Initialize all Key Commands. Now we're on the same page. Now let's go back into the Options menu and choose Presets and let's use the U.S. Preset. That's what we'll be going over in this lesson. Of course, all standard key commands you might know from other programs work in Logic. Command+C is Copy. Command+V is Paste. Command+X, Cut, etcetera.
Let's go over some handy ones that work just in Logic. Let's close the Key Command Preferences panel. Z is auto track zoom. That means if you have a track selected and you hit Z on your keyboard, that track zooms to full size. Z again take it back to normal size. The Slash button above your numeric keypad let you go to a position. For example, if I type 6 and hit Enter, my playhead will go to bar 6. We can use the C button to turn Cycle Mode on and off. If we type X, we see the Mixer panel at the bottom of our Arrange window. X again hides it.
P shows us the Piano Roll at the bottom of our Arrange window. Hit P again to hide it. F shows the File Browser on the right-hand side of our Arrange window. Option+L toggles on and off the Library. If we type O, we get to see the Loops Browser. If we select a region, we can type M to mute that region. This means we won't hear that particular region as the playhead moves over that portion of the song, and we'll unmute it. Likewise we can hit S to solo that region.
In that case we'll only hear that region as the playhead travels over that region in our song. To customize your key commands, we can go back into the Key Commands Preference. Let's this time use a key command to open the Key Command Preferences, Option+K. That brings us back into the Key Commands Preference panel. We can organize our key commands by ones that are used, once that are unused, or all at once. We can also collapse different sections of our key commands using the handy disclosure triangles. To find a specific command we'll use the Search bar in the upper right of the Key Commands panel.
Click in here and type 'new track.' That's the new key command we're going to assign. I see New Tracks in this list. Option+Command+N is currently the key command that lets us make a new track. If you use Pro Tools a lot like me, you're used to a different key command to make a new track, which is Shift+ Command+N. I'd like to change this to Shift+Command+N to open New Tracks. To do this we'll click on Learn by Key Label. Now all I need to do is type in the key command I want, Shift+Command+N, and it automatically assigns that to the command.
It's now Shift+Command+N to make new tracks. What happens if it's already taken? Let's try Command+N to see. Make sure the Learn by Key Label button is still pressed. Type Command+N and Logic tells you, Oh! That's already used and it's reserved for a different command, so we're not able to use Command+N for this. Once you've customized your key commands to your liking, you may want to take them with you to different places you may be working. This is easy. Go up to Options menu and choose Export Key Commands.
Let's choose the Desktop and let's put our key command set there. We'll save it as mykeycommands, hit Save and it will go to the Desktop. Now when you get to the next location you're working, simply go to Options > Import Key Commands, go to the Deskto,p and there is our key commands set. Notice that it has a specific extension, .logikcs. That's a key command extension. Also notice it's pretty small in size, 74 KB. This means you can take it along with you on a USB drive or even email it to yourself so can have it at a different place. Click Open and your key command set will be imported.
You also might want to copy your key commands set to the Clipboard and then paste it into a text editor to printed out. That way you can have a list of your key commands next to your workstation. Before doing this make sure you clear the Search bar, because we want to get all the key commands in our list. Now go to the Options menu and click on Copy Key Commands to Clipboard. Logic will tell you that they're now in your clipboard, you can paste them into a word processor. Click OK and let's go to text editor or any word processor of your choice, click Command+V, and all of your key commands go into that document.
We can now print this and have it as a document that we've display next to our workstation. As you can see one of the great benefits of using Logic is the boundless customization and freedom you have as a user. Customizable key commands are a great example of this.
- Navigating the Logic Pro interface
- Setting up for recording
- Enabling multiple inputs for a live performance
- Exploring Logic's arsenal of virtual instruments
- Working with powerful MIDI editors and sequencers
- Beatmapping, varispeed, and tempo adjustment in the timeline
- Creating and re-using Apple loops
- Editing music: Moving and snapping regions, cutting and looping
- Transcribing a score and creating lead sheets in the Score Editor
- Syncing with video
- Mixing audio and creating dynamic mixes
- Understanding surround sound requirements
- Exporting a song from Logic Pro